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tv   America This Morning  ABC  December 19, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PST

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making news in america this morning -- outrage overseas. a story growing more tense by the minute. a diplomat arrested on american soil. was the treatment too harsh? and can she be punished for the crime she's accused of? brazen breach. target warning customers that credit card information may have been stolen during the busy shopping season. we're learning how the thieves gained access. christmas crooks. proof that real-life grinches do exist. must-see video for anyone getting packages delivered for the holiday. and star suspended. the controversial comments by a "duck dynasty" cast member that may have put an end to his lucrative television career.
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good thursday morning. we begin with that story that is threatening to strain international relations between two nuclear powers. the united states and india. >> protests are growing in new delhi, following the arrest of deputy consul general, devyani khobragade. she's accused of lying to get a work visa for her housekeeper in new york. >> but her treatment by investigators is at the center of the heated debate. abc's tahman bradley, live in washington, now, to explain to us. good morning, tahman. >> reporter: good morning, john and diana. india is furious about this arrest and alleged treatment. they call it barbaric. they cannot believe one of their diplomats was picked up off the street, thrown in jail and treated like any other alleged criminal. diplomatic tensions between the u.s. and india are escalating. u.s. prosecutors have charged devyani khobragade, an indian diplomat, with falsifying visa documents. they say she lied about how much she was paying her nanny. allegedly giving the woman far below minimum wage.
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and requiring her to work more than 40 hours a week. in new york, the diplomat was arrested, jailed and strip-searched, streets like any other alleged criminal. india is seething. >> she understands the deep insult that has been given to the indian government by the conduct of the united states government against her. >> reporter: despite claims of diplomatic immunity, khobragade was thrown in jail. she said she was even subjected to a cavity search, which the state department said did not happen. in india, anger. protests in the streets. in retaliation, the government ordered removal of barriers around the u.s. embassy in new delhi. overnight, secretary of state john kerry called india's national security adviser to express regret. even the white house has weighed in. >> we recognize this is a very sensitive issue in india, we're continuing to review exactly what happened in this case. >> reporter: the manhattan u.s. attorney, sought to clarify
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details surrounding the diplomat's arrest. saying in a statement. ms. khobragade was accorded courtesies well beyond what other defendants, most whom are american citizens, are accorded. for example, the u.s. attorney says the diplomat was not handcuffed or restrained. if convicted, she could face up to 15 years in prison. diana and john? >> abc's tahman bradley, live in washington for us this morning. thank you. now, to some tough decisions that president obama has to make after the release of a scathing report about the nation's surveillance program. that report, issued by a group of advisers, at mr. obama's request, says the nation's collection of american phone records should be shut down because it presents a lurking danger of abuse. former white house counterterror official and abc news consultant, richard clarke, helped write the report. >> we think the meta data program has not been essential. has not contributed significantly to the prevention of terrorist attacks on the united states or abroad. >> also among the
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recommendations in that report, greater security of decisions to spy on friendly foreign leaders. president obama expected to announce any changes to u.s. intelligence programs next month. and our other major story this morning could affect millions of target shoppers who used their credit or debit cards in the store during this busy shopping time. the secret service is investigating what appears to be a major breach in the retailer's security system. hackers were apparently able to steal the information encoded in the black magnetic strip on credit and debit cards. and the breach likely happened on or around black friday. >> the more foot traffic you have, the more deals you have, the more people are swiping their cards. from the bad guys' perspective, that's the perfect day to launch an attack like this. >> so far, target has not commented. security experts have advice for all of the shoppers this time of year. keep checking your statements for anything suspicious. we will have more on this on "good morning america." the stock market headed towards the end of the year on a high note.
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the dow shot up nearly 300 points yesterday, following the closely-watched decision by the fed to scale back. it was the federal reserve's strongest signal in years about the recovery. heard loud and clear on wall street. when the markets open today, the dow will be well above the 16,000 mark, after yesterday's 292-point gain. that surge followed fed chairman ben bernanke's big announcement. the government will scale back on its stimulus that's been beefing up the economy since the recession. >> it certainly is a vote of confidence that the fed has for the economic recovery. >> reporter: to keep the economy moving, interest rates will be kept low. for home buyers, mortgage rates will remain historically low. and car loans, affordable. the fed's goal, keep americans in the buying mood, while simulating employers to create more jobs. the owner of this north carolina glass company is expanding into the solar panel business. he plans to add dozens of jobs and hopes to hire veterans. >> we take people off the street
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with no experience and train them to do glazing. i want to do the same thing in solar. >> reporter: if the trend continues, today's unemployment rate at 7% could be dropping to 6.3% in the new year. >> the economy is continuing to make progress. but it also has much farther to travel before conditions can be judged normal. >> reporter: and just days before christmas, holiday shoppers are doing their part. sales up 2% since november 1st. and analysts are optimistic this will continue, even as stores cut prices. but the entire economic picture, not as rosy as it could be. analysts point out wages are not increasing while consumer prices and inflation are heading up. another government shutdown early next year has been avoided now that the senate has passed a budget. the spending plan passed easily with a 64-36 vote. in a statement late last night, president obama said he was pleased with that vote. the president also said it marks the first time in years that the house and senate came together to pass a budget. and now, to breaking news overnight. a massive fire rips through a strip mall near los angeles, destroying several businesses.
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the fire erupted last night in hawthorne, sending flames high into the air and collapsing at least two roofs. the blaze was so intense, it took 100 firefighters to put it out. fortunately, though, no one was injured. dennis rodman is on his third trip to north korea for another round of what's being called basketball diplomacy. rodman plans to train their national basketball team for an exhibition game next month to celebrate the birthday of leader kim jong-un. rodman, undeterred by the execution of kim's uncle. he says he is hoping the basketball game will create an opportunity for dialogue between the u.s. and north korea. and nasa has designed new low-tech gear to keep astronauts safe on their upcoming spacewalks. they have designed a snorkel and a sort of sweatband. both of these devices is supposed to safeguard the two americans against problems of liquid in their suits, which was an issue during a previous spacewalk. they are aiming to fix the broken cooling system. they should begin on saturday. let's turn to the weather and check what it's doing across
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the nation. milder in the northeast. with snowshowers across northern new york and vermont. light snow for the northern plains and upper midwest. snow in the northern rockies and sierra nevada. off-and-on showers in southern california. >> 60 degrees in los angeles. 70 in phoenix. mostly 60s from dallas to atlanta. 14 in the twin cities. and just ten in billings. new crash test results are released overnight. which cars are scoring the highest? and the country's newest megamillionaire. wait until you hear how many tickets she bought. plus, passenger beatdown. a man gets on a bus, armed and determined. new video shows how the people onboard stopped him.
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welcome back. a new list of the safest cars on the road was released overnight, with 39 models getting high marks in crash tests. the small cars that performed the best, include the honda civic hybrid, mazda 3 and toyota prius. the ford fusion, honda accord, mazda 6. you can see the full list at abcnews.com. whole foods is propping the most popular brand of greek yogurt. it is to make room for products free of modified organism. allowing passengers to make cell phone calls during flights. delta's ceo ruled out the calls, saying they would be disruptive to the travel experience. jetblue and united are indicating they don't intend to allow in-flight cell phone calls. the fcc is seeking public
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comment on whether or not to list a call band. and starbucks is calling today latte thursday. it expects record sales in activation of its payment cards today. starbucks said it sold more than 2 million of the cards in north america on the thursday before christmas last year. >> good gift. >> it's a nice stocking stuffer, for sure. when we come back, controversy. some experts say guidelines for those who need blood pressure medication should be changed. not everyone agrees, though. and grounded. how a ferry packed with people ended up like this. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief.
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uh. all right, now, for a look at the morning road conditions. snowmaking for a slippery ride in the sierra nevada, upper rockies and upper midwest. wet at times in parts of southern california. snowy roads in upstate new york
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and new england. >> if you're flying, airport delays are possible in salt lake city, los angeles, san diego and minneapolis. back to the news now. a georgia grandmother has claimed her share of the mega millions jackpot. >> ira curry bought one ticket at the last minute. she'll get about $120 million before taxes. curry chose not to make a personal appearance at the lottery office. but she did share her winning formula. >> she did picks in numbers. they were a combination of family birthdays and her family's lucky number, number 7. >> yep. she picked them herself. now, the holder of that winning ticket that was bought in san jose, that's still a mystery. the store's owner was very happy, though. he learned he would get $1 million for making that sale. >> happiness all around. now, to medical news this morning. millions of americans battling high blood pressure now have new guidelines for the first time in 30 years. a committee of experts set a new marker saying blood pressure for people over 60 should not exceed
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150. that goes against many doctors who still believe anything above 140 should still be the number to look for when prescribing medication for hypertension. >> now, i think based on the guidelines, you can feel comfortable saying when you have the patient below 150, you're now at your goal. having the ability to get them to goal, without overmedicating them, i think is very encouraging and very exciting. >> the american heart association and the american college of cardiology are among those that disagree. they say the old guidelines are working, credited with dramatically reducing strokes and heart failure. a ferry that ran aground on the north carolina coast is still stuck on a sand bar this morning. efforts to refloat the 64-foot boat has failed. now, the company has to come up with another plan to remove it. 14 people were hurt in tuesday's accident. they've all been released from the hospital. wild landing for passengers onboard an air france flight in the u.k. the plane was caught up in powerful crosswinds as it approached bristol airport. you can see it coming in for a
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lopsided landing. touching down on the tarmac almost completely sideways. the pilot somehow managed to touch down safely. newly released video shows a robbery attempt on a seattle bus and riders putting an end to it. the 19-year-old suspect robbing two people of their phones. closer to the surveillance camera, he tries it again. and you see what happens. the passenger lunges forward, sparking a melee. they hold the suspect down until police get there. the suspect is facing 15 years of prison time. and another surveillance video caught a grinch at work in michigan. you can see a man in a bright orange sweatshirt taking a package left on a porch by fedex. >> the box contained about $200 worth of gifts. a fifth grade teacher planned to give to his students, no less. she's hoping to get replacement gifts by tomorrow before school is out for a holiday. terrible. >> i hope he faces 15 years, too. that's just awful. >> that video, they're going to get him. a grinch was busy in
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new hampshire, too. police searching for someone who can be seen running on a lawn, slicing several decorations and causing hundreds of dollars in damage. the family has been setting up decorations around the home for christmas for about a dozen years. they added each year to their display. >> what's the point of that? just to be a grinch? >> i can't begin to imagine. i don't know. time, now, for sports. an intense game between the heat and the pacers. >> and timberwolves putting on quite a show at home. here's espn's stan and neil in los angeles. >> good morning, america. he's stan. i'm neil. this is the los angeles "sportscenter" set. and, man, we have two unreal basketball games. wednesday. >> it's thursday now. >> let's start in the east. you're on top of this day thing. >> thank you. >> pacers and heat. eastern conference showdown. under two minutes to play in the game. heat down three. chris bosh, with a big three. he had 15 points, 8 rebounds. he had missed his previous 14 three-pointers. ray allen is always reliable from out there. heat up three.
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lebron james, 7 assists, 24 points and 9 rebounds to go with him. paul george, 20 points, 8 assists. dwyane wade led heim with 32. the heat win it at home, 97-94. the best record in basketball belongs to portland. home of kevin love. he plays for minnesota. and kevin love can pass that basketball. ricki rubio. stan love, kevin's dad, happy for what he did. >> when you learn from a guy name stan, what are you going to get? >> damian lillard did not have a good first half. minnesota led by 32 at one point. they ended up winning by 11. love and j.j. barea. he was a dish shy of his first-ever triple-double. >> going to be a bid for kevin love's services when he becomes a free agent in 2015. >> look at that. he just knew that. >> a wealth of knowledge, those
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two. >> thanks. coming up next, it's "the pulse." a "duck dynasty" cast member suspended. but will it end the most popular cable show of all-times. barbara walters' final most fascinating people of the year list. with a surprise number one pick.
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[ female announcer ] here's to moms who know what a dollop of daisy can do. unlike others, it is 100% pure with nothing else added. ♪ do a dollop, do, do a dollop of daisy ♪ ♪ do a dollop of daisy time to check "the pulse." and we start with some controversial comments from one of the guys on that hit reality series "duck dynasty." >> we're talking about 67-year-old phil robertson. he explains why he believes homosexuality is sinful, along with beastialty and other stuff we can't get into. >> a&e, which airs "duck dynasty" has suspended robertson. saying it is extremely
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disappointed by his comments. but he will appear in episodes that have already been taped. the end of an era. the last time barbara walters has unveiled her list of fascinating people. >> once again, hillary clinton has been named the most fascinating of all. clinton topped the list when the abc special debuted 20 years ago. she told barbara she hasn't made up her mind about a run for the white house in 2016. >> jennifer lawrence, edward snowden and our own robin roberts, among those who made the list. you didn't make the list. >> i tried really hard. >> i'm amazed. here's another political veteran making news this morning. mitt romney like we have never seen him before. including the moment he realized he would lose the election. plus, a more relaxed romney. even ironing his clothes while wearing them. >> playing in the snow. sleeping in the campaign van. even some tender moments with his wife, ann. it's all in the new netflix film, "mitt," to be released next month.
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>> a lot of people said it was hard to connect with him. had we seen this side way back when, who knows how the polls would have spun. finally, a truly great christmas prank. this is all on unsuspecting folks who thought they were going to have their picture taken. take a look. [ screams ] >> i think that may be one of the funniest pranks i've ever seen. there's someone inside that tree. it's at a high school in texas. everyone seemed to take it in good spirits. >> i have a funny feeling that the one guy or gal who punched that tree out is not included in the viral video. >> i think that guy should bear hug that tree. >> oh, these reactions are too
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abc7 news begins with breaking news. >> in oakland, police and firefighters or on the scene of a fiery crash at 98th. amy, are they considering evacuations? they have evacuated an apartment building. the fire is out. but the scene is activity. look what is left of the s.u.v. and the gas pump it crashed into. this happened on 98th in oakland next to an apartment complex. the brooksfield place apartments. residents heard the crash. then some heard their alarm going off. they saw fire and they thought it was scary. when they realized it was a gas
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station on fire they panicked. people started evacuating on their own. they knew it could be dangerous. we spoke with a couple of people moments ago. >> i was looking and i heard gas station on fire i thought it would blow up. i panicked. >> we hear fire alarm and we think it is kids and people were outside running back-and-forth and panicked and you can see the fire from the gas tank. >> they told people they can go to the elementary school to stay warm and have shelter while firefighters work on the situation. we saw a huge foam truck from the airport and they are now taking a look at the scene and they are assessing the situation. they don't look like they are panicking. we are waiting for a briefing.
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the chief is headed our way. when we get a briefing we will bring you the lateest. the emergency seems to be over and now they we are trying to figure out what happened. i talked to an officer who saw the driver of this car who was involved in a high speed chase with sheriff deputies was arrested. he was taken away in handcuffs. stay with us as we work on the developing story. >> thank you, amy. we want to check on the winds which are strong. mike? >> they are gusting in some higher elevations. we will check those out and show you the speeds. they have pushed the low clouds and the mist and any of the the sprinkles yesterday away from us on live doppler 7 hd. we will talk about our temperatures, they will be significantly cooler and closer to average. you can see a lost mid-to-upper 50's

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